Chevron is Guilty: Ecuadoreans Prevail in Historic Environmental Lawsuit

Written by Mike G

Topics: Frontline Communities, Oil

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Chevron guilty

Click this image to send Chevron CEO John Watson an email urging him to clean up his company's oily mess in Ecuador immediately.

After a long and often bitter 18-year struggle, the Indigenous and rural Ecuadoreans suing Chevron to force the company to clean up its oil contamination in the Amazon have prevailed. Earlier today, in a historic ruling, the court in Lago Agrio, Ecuador found Chevron guilty and ordered the company to pay $8 billion to clean up its mess in Ecuador.

Write to Chevron CEO John Watson right now and urge him to finally see that justice is done in Ecuador by cleaning up his company’s oil pollution immediately.

Chevron of course immediately fired off a statement claiming that the judgment was fraudulent and the company would appeal the decision. Enough is enough. The plaintiffs have withstood the impacts of Chevron’s oil pollution on their health and the local environment at the same time that they had to contend with Chevron’s bullying and abusive legal tactics. For nearly two decades, they’ve been living with Chevron’s attempts to deny them basic human rights and a clean and healthy environment. It’s time for Chevron to take responsibility for its oily mess.

Chevron waged an unprecedented PR and legal campaign, but in the end the evidence overwhelmingly proved the company’s guilt. This is a historic moment. It’s one of the largest judgment against Big Oil ever awarded. The battle is won, but the war is far from over. More than ever, the people of Ecuador need us to stand with them.

Over 1,400 Ecuadoreans have already died as a result of the contamination in the Amazon, and some 30,000 more are at risk. They don’t have time to wait for Chevron to continue trying to hide its guilt with legal maneuvering and PR campaigns. John Watson can put an end to the human rights and environmental abuses in Ecuador. Write to Watson now.

18 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Shariq says:

    AWESOME! God is Great!

  2. Steeeeeeeeeeev says:

    I am so sorry I use gasoline and oil. I hate the stuff. Hate it. We’re all choking on exhaust fumes. Shame on all of us. I WALKED to work today. Try living without a car… it’s like being caught in a machine. I have a car, but it’s 9 years old car and has 36K miles on it…. once I had to clean the spider webs out of it. I keep the thermostat in my house @ 62 degrees all winter… my wife is very patient with me.
    But I am still a user. : |

  3. Jenn Breckenridge says:

    Cairo, Kentucky and now Ecuador–such incredible news these days!

  4. Heather says:

    Honestly, it’s more about the plastics we over-consume and the products made with oil than the cars on the road.

    Stop using plastic water bottles (no, it’s not enough to recycle them, it takes fuel to recycle. Just drink out of a glass at home),
    Bring your bags to the grocery
    Buy products in glass rather than plastic jars (like spagetti sauce
    Buy milk in paper cartons rather than plastic, etc.
    Don’t take the Happy meal toy with the meal; my kids don’t care, it’s just something else they have to pick up off the floor or throw away.
    Really, those little changes (times all of us) can make a huge difference.

  5. Benjamin says:

    @Steev
    You can’t beat yourself up for wanting to survive in an economy that depends on oil and gas. The lack of affordable alternatives is the problem. Instead of beating ourselves up about it, we just have to become louder voices in demanding options from people who are powerful enough to begin to work on delivering those options.

  6. Arthur Dyer says:

    It Shouldn’t be that hard to come up with 8 billion, considering the CEO last I heard was making only 70 million a year. And to think you can live comfortably on 70 grand a year!!!!

  7. Like a G6 says:

    Wow. 8 Billion? I heard it was supposed to be $100 billion in damages. Seems low since chevron posts record profits in the 40 billion range each quarter! Clean energy and waste free sustainable life is bounding at us. Don’t even worry. Too bad it will cost us many lives to jerk us in to believing there really is a problem. It took about 165,000 years of human history on planet Earth for the human population to reach one billion, which it did around 1800. One hundred thirty years later, in 1930 there were two billion people on the planet.
    30 ears later, in 1960, there were three billion of us.
    14 years later, in 1974, there were four billion.
    13 years later, in in 1987, there five billion.
    12 years later, in 1999, there were six billion.
    11 years later, in 2010, there were seven billion.

    Where are we headed? Only a catastrophe of human lives lost on a scale never imagined before can save us now. What a crappy future to look forward to for most of us.

  8. Scott Teresi says:

    I’m trying to make sense of Chevron’s guilt in all this, when I explain it to others… as I understand it, Chevron shared ownership with the oil fields with Ecuador’s state oil company. While Chevron obviously had a major stake in this, they are not the only guilty party. How much of the pollution occurred as a result of Chevron (then Texaco’s) actions, and how much from the Ecuadoran company’s?

  9. Mike G. says:

    @Scott Though Texaco (which Chevron bought in 2001) co-owned the concessions with PetroEcuador, Texaco was the sole operator of the drilling operations that caused all the pollution. Texaco deliberately designed second-rate systems using substandard equipment, just to save a few bucks on each barrel. These operations would not have been legal in the USA, they were so shoddy. Texaco and now Chevron just thought they were rich and powerful enough, and the Ecuadoreans poor enough, that they could get away with it. That’s why Texaco was sued and not PetroEcuador. Chevron took on that liability when it bought Texaco.

  10. Mary L. Bigler says:

    Congratulations to all the people who worked so hard to bring some justice to the Ecuadoreans. There is not way there can be enough justice to bring back even one life which they have taken with their greed. My love and prayers reach out to our brothers and sister to our south. Sister Mary Lou

  11. Lisa says:

    Ecuador’s corrupt judges, witnesses, and experts make it impossible to get to the truth. Judges and other experts have forged documents and taken bribes in order to squeeze money out of Chevron.

    Ecuador signed off on the remediation when Texaco exited the country. Sounds like they are the ones who went after the deep pockets…

  12. Mike G says:

    “Ecuador’s corrupt judges, witnesses, and experts make it impossible to get to the truth. Judges and other experts have forged documents and taken bribes in order to squeeze money out of Chevron.”

    Lisa, none of that is true. We know the truth: Texaco deliberately dumped over 18.5 billion gallons of oil waste into unlined pits in the Amazon. This never would have been legal in the USA, and the company knew it. That is why Texaco is liable. Chevron bought this liability when it bought Texaco in 2001.

    The judge was never bribed, Chevron’s “dirty tricks” guy tried to entrap the judge into showing bias while secretly video taping him, and Chevron used that to make the bribe allegation. But the dirty tricks guy even admitted there was never a bribe.

    Check out ChangeChevron.org if you want to get the real story, and not Chevron’s misinformation.

  13. Samantha says:

    I think that Chevron realizes the damage they caused for many Ecuadoreans and feel guilty, yet they refuse to show it because if they confess, they feel that their reputation will be ruined. After all, they’re a big company who makes millions of dollars.

  14. Samantha says:

    I think that Chevron realizes the damage they caused for many Ecuadorians and feel guilty yet refuse to show it because if they confess, they feel their reputation will be ruined. After all, they’re a big company that makes billions of dollars.

  15. Amberly says:

    Interesting post! I am strongly debating the same topic. View “behind the scenes” videos of serious judicial misconduct, political influence and bribes associated with the Chevron Ecuador Lawsuit at http://www.theamazonpost.com and form your own opinion.

  16. Ellie says:

    Not sure what your angle is Mike G. but Lisa is correct. And the filming was done by the plaintiff’s legal team and came out during discovery, it had nothing to do with Chevron. Further all the science shows that the pollution was cleaned up and even the plaintiffs have confessed during trial there is no evidence of cancer and health risks increased in the area linked to pollution – pollution which has been created by Equador’s own oil company which has one of the worst environemtal records in the industry! – read the case transcript/industry records!

  17. Mike G says:

    @Ellie:

    My angle is simply that I think it’s wrong for a huge oil company to go into a country and deliberately pollute a pristine rainforest and make thousands of people sick all to make a few extra bucks. Frankly, I think that should be everyone’s angle, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why your angle would be to protect Chevron from having to take responsibility for its malfeasance, unless you’re being paid by Chevron to help cover up its malfeasance.

    If by “science” you mean the bogus data produced by Chevron’s secret lab, which was recently confirmed to exist by the company’s own documents, then there’s no way to debate with you, I realize. You’ll forgive Chevron anything because you want to believe the company is innocent, for some reason. But here’s all the proof you need that Chevron is trying desperately to hide its own guilt, and will stoop to anything and everything to evade its responsibility to clean up Ecuador:

    http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/33536-Chevron-Used-Secret-Lab-to-Hide-Dirty-Soil-Samples-from-Ecuador-Court-Say-Company-Documents-

  18. Ellie says:

    No angle, just solely interested in facts – I feel like due to the nature of the issue and its profile there is (naturally) a lot of personal opinion clouding the issues. I’ll leave it to the courts!

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